Science standards, SRJC, essay contest, free audio books, Northeastern, ADD and dyslexia apps

The Republic of Thrift on Highway 12 has donated another $11,000 to Sonoma Valley Public Schools to kick-off the new school year. Sisters Jeannette Tomany and Michelle Mammini opened Republic of Thrift in February 2012. Although they already operate similar to a nonprofit, with 100 percent of net profits donated to the schools, they are currently pending IRS approval of their nonprofit 501(c)(3) status. Their mission is to provide a consistent revenue source for public schools in our Valley. Republic of Thrift accepts gently used clothing, shoes, furniture, housewares, etc. 17496 Sonoma Highway (republicofthrift.com).


California just became the sixth state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards but there is still no formal timeline for implementing them. The new science standards stress problem solving, critical thinking and concepts that cut across difference science disciplines. They emphasize scientific thinking and big ideas instead of memorization different and focus on the connection between what a student learns in school and what a scientist might use in the workplace. Teachers, academics and experts worked for two years to develop the standards. Sadly, this year’s state budget contains no money to train teachers in the new standards and the curriculum framework still needs to be developed.


Alumni of the Gingerbread House Childcare & Preschool in Boyes Hot Springs were sad to hear about the retirement of Barbara Mannle, and the subsequent closing of the school after 43 years. Mannle is credited as having helped to raise several generations of Valley children. A retirement party was held in her honor in August. Some fun facts? Ken Brown was once a teacher at GBH, called “Uncle Ken” by the children. The Gingerbread House may have been the longest running preschool in Sonoma. There is a Facebook group where alums and parents can share memories. facebook.com/groups/573458672700177.

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